I think of all of our science lessons this was one of my kids’ favorite biology units. They loved our birds unit because it afforded them so many opportunities to make things and to act out what they learned.
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Some Bird unit inspiration and resources
I’m just going to make this bullet points, rather than short paragraphs.
Anatomy of a bird activities
Then look at a bird’s bones and compare it with a cow’s bone. Comparing bones is a great activity to build observational skills.
My favorite bird activity was our feather experiments, partially because I got to do the oil slick feather experiment.
Then back when I was in college in my science for elementary teachers class, we did a fun bird beak lesson.
Finally, and I think this was the kids’ favorite of this section: design a bird. Whose bird can fly the farthest? (As a side note, looking at pictures in this post just shows how OLD my kids are now, they were so little in this post)
You probably won’t be able to do this one, but we found a dead bird, and studied it, yes it was gross.
Bird behavior activities
Owls are an interesting creature because they swallow their food whole and then after digestion barf up their food as owl pellets. I found a great source for owl pellets, and we dissected them.
Then maybe try out a bird migration activity. My kids had a love-hate relationship with this one, because by the end they were very tired.
I always think I have a post for this activity, but I don’t, so here’s a bonus activity. In many bird species, the male does bizarre things to attract the female’s attention. In this bird’s case, they puff up their chest and assume strange positions and FREEZE until the female picks her mate. This activity was done over and over and over again for a month straight. The kids would run around and then I’d yell “Girl bird,” and they’d freeze until I picked the most interesting “boy bird.” It really cracked them up.
Bird adjacent lessons
Apologia Flying Creatures also includes insects, bats, and dinosaurs, because some dinosaurs flew, so Future Ticia 2023 is adding these lessons in.
Therefore I’m including these Bird adjacent lessons, maybe someday they’ll get their own landing page.
First, there is the how to rescue a bat, which was more because we found a bat on the ground in the middle of the road and had to figure out how to rescue it without touching it. Then a little mini bat lesson.
Then, starting on the insect resources, I have a slew of insect mini-books I found. We studied why water striders walk on water, a fun firefly lesson, ladybugs, crickets (which was gross), and then caterpillars and butterflies, and dragonfly craft. Oh, and one more caterpillar post.
But before we studied the individual insects, we looked at some generic insect lessons. We learned insect camouflage. We tried out how insects eat and learned about insect body parts, and how do bugs see. After all these lessons, we then put together insects.
Finally, I have an Insect KWL chart, which could be used for pretty much any animal lesson.
For all of the posts in this series head on over to Zoology for Kids.
I am republishing this, it was originally published July 24, 2014.